Kodukant, the Estonian Village Movement is an association of non-governmental organisations, structured at three levels – village, county and national. It started in 1990-ies, when Estonia’s rural areas began to suffer severely following the country’s independence. Rural enthusiasts made contact with “All Sweden Shall Live”, and learnt how to mobilise the rural population. Kodukant was set up officially in October 1997. It now has about 5,000 members. It embodies the spirit and values of the villages and is driven by a passion to retain rural life and traditions. Its aims are to give technical advice; to promote networking and communication; to arrange training and capacity building; to act as advocate for rural communities; to support local initiatives; and to foster co-operation at all levels. It has offices in each county, which organise events and act as intermediaries between local people and the national board of Kodukant, which deals directly with the Ministyry of Internal affairs and Ministry of Agriculture. Every second year, Kodukant organizes a Maapäev or Rural Parliament, at which delegates from throughout the country gather to debate issues, prepare declarations to go to government, and agree the association’s programme for the following period.
The slogan of Kodukant is “All Estonia shall live!”